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A Rocky Start For Google's Latest iPhone Rival

A Rocky Start For Google's Latest iPhone Rival
An investigation by Alphabet Inc’s Google has been prompted to be launched even as the company has also issued multiple apologies to customers as display screen problems and pricing and shipping issues have hampered the launch of second-generation Google Pixel smartphones.
The lynchpin of Google’s efforts to take on Apple Inc’s iPhone directly are the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, which start at $649 and debuted in stores on Thursday.
Mishaps, including a potentially serious problem with the screen, have resulted in early Pixel 2 users to voice frustration with the phones.
Following a report on the AndroidCentral blog detailing the issue after a week of use, Google said on Sunday it is investigating whether graphics are burning into the display of the Pixel 2. Viewing information on the display can be made difficult for users by burn-in, which usually becomes a problem only after several years of activity.
Ryan Reith, a mobile device analyst at research firm IDC, said that Google likely would need to halt production if there is problem.
“We take all reports of issues very seriously, and our engineers investigate quickly,” Mario Queiroz, Google’s vice president for Pixel product management, said in an emailed statement to Reuters. “We will provide updates as soon as we have conclusive data.”
In order to respond to users’ concern about a blue tint to the Pixel 2 XL’s 6-inch screen, Google had earlier acknowledged that it may introduce new software and the most recent investigation follows Google’s that acknowledgement. Google described new OLED display technology as offering “a more natural and accurate rendition of colors” and this new technology is incorporated in the new device.
A clicking noise during calls and poor Bluetooth connections between the Pixel 2 and other devices have also been reported about by reviewers and users in online support forums. Google did not immediately comment on the issues.
Verizon Wireless reseller operating at Google pop-up stores in the United States, had allegedly charged people $30 extra for the Pixel 2 and on Friday, the company vowed to reimburse an undisclosed number of people who were charged extra.
Google said in its apology that the surcharge “was an error,”
Matching the price of a comparable iPhone adapter, Google was forced to drop the price of an adapter used to connect headphones to $9 from $20, due to prior complaints.
according to the AndroidPolice news blog and users’ postings on Reddit forums, advising that delivery of their Pixel 2 may be delayed as much as one month, to late November, Google also sent emails over the weekend to buyers. A free smartphone case, which otherwise starts at $40, is being offered by Google, customers said. Google did not immediately comment.
By agreeing to acquire an HTC Corp hardware development team for $1.1 billion, Google made a significant bet on the smartphone business last month.
Shares of Google fell 1.9 percent to $985.54 at Monday’s close

Christopher J. Mitchell

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